“Well this is a great lesson for you to learn as a Renal Patient, I mean as a Dialysis Patient”.,” I first want you to visualize this thing we call dialysis is like a Tune Up / Oil Change to your body like a car. It’s just that instead of maintenance for your car every few months, this is daily maintenance for your body. So let’s begin. As you notice with your cannulation sites…. Venous which is at the top or closest to you pointing towards your heart or towards you . In which it should at all times, and your Arterial which is also pointed towards your you or your heart 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart from your venous needle in which it can also be pointed downward or facing your wrist or hand……. So let’s do a quick run down. The patient’s blood,( your blood) exits your body through these well insulated tubes or as you would say my lines in which is synonymous to your veins, goes through the blood pump segment which is right here…” That thing turning there Dwelyn?”, ..” Yes , that’s the blood pump which is at a speed of 400. Next while the pump is spinning or turning , a dialysis solution is already in progress so once your blood is returned to you it has already been processed for you to have a safe and successful treatment. Within this solution are numerous components that make this thing work. These components consist of Compressed air and CO2( Carbon), fresh dialysis solution, constant temperature bath, expended dialysis solution, in addition to your Semipermeable membrane which is your dialyzer which also can be considered as your Kidney which has two compartments . A blood side and a dialysate side. Within these compartments are Red Blood Cells, Blood Proteins, Salt ,and Waste Products …… “ Wait a minute, or two..!”” ,” I’m so lost that this is unreal. “ You lost me after the blood pump. All I see is my blood leaving my body from this part of my arm and coming back to me on this part of my arm.!” Sheesh man this is craaaaaazzzzeeeeee! “ I hate that I ever got sick. This is depressing let alone confusing.” “ Okay I apologize Mrs.AW, let me just try to explain inire of a simple term. This is only what YOU as a Renal Patient sees. Simple , your dirty blood is taken away from you through this human washing machine and given back to you clean. Three times a week, for three and half hours to four hours a day, until…… ” Dwelyn , until what?” “ The until means either you may not need to come anymore or you decide not to come anymore. ,” AW replies ,” If I come for a week or two I may not have to come anymore?”. I reply,” Not exactly”. You see let’s take me for example. At this point in time in my life I don’t need dialysis , so my kidneys work twenty four hours a day for seven days a week . Yours is only working mainly three days a week due to the lack of function you have. For example, do you still urinate? AW replies,” Yes but just a weee bit.” , I reply,” So therefore the machine is helping you peee a weeee bit more. Kinda ! ( AW with a confused look on her face looks down in between her legs in hopes or hopes not to see urine down below ) As I laughed, “ Not only AW that the dialysis machine helps you urinate. It also helps you get rid of the toxins in your body. So we actually have patients here who urinate a lot , some do a little, some do frequently , some mildly , and some that do not urinate at all. ….” Wait Dwelyn, I know we are talking about a lot of things here , and I’ll let you get back to this pump , and washing machine thing , but…… You Mean ……. To Tell Me……There are people in here who don’t pee???””” ( as she looks around the treatment floor), “ Huh, no way!” Yes Mrs AW. This is all true. That’s the sole purpose of HemoDialysis. To help patients remove fluid and remove toxins from their body.” ….. Okay so Dwelyn as we are talking I noticed that one of my lines was red and the other one was clear with nothing in it. So is it safe to safe that you’re taking ALL my blood , cleaning it and giving it back to me clean?” Not quite! The process of Hemodialysis is to like I said before , remove fluid and waste products. However the process is only for a limited time at a gradual pace. In addition that takes precision of a Physician’s order. To piggyback off of what you said as far as removing ALL of your blood and cleaning it…. If that were the case you would not survive this process. “, “ Huh?? “ I’m very confused!”, Enlighten please.!” Let me Break it Down to you AW. The process of Hemodialysis as far as blood cleaning we are only acquired to take one to one and half pints of blood out of your body during a specific time at a designed flow rate. Can you imagine if I took all of the blood from your body ( 1.2-1.5 gallons or 10 units ) , clean and give it back to you? Will you be patiently waiting ?” AW replies sort of loudly “ Boxcova!!!!
Disclaimer: ( Remember ladies and gentlemen, AW has Jamaican roots. Her using the term “ Boxcova!” Means she is surprised / overwhelmed/ in shock , or you may hear most Jamaicans say “ Bumboclaat)
Dwelyn I think this makes a little sense. So this machine here can only clean or wash me or my blood or whatever you say, a certain amount of time I come here?” And only a certain amount of my blood as well?” Egggggzaaaackllleee !” I replied…..
“ So is that why we have to come here three times a week ? For these long hours…. Wait a minute…. That’s only three days a week and there’s seven days in a week. Only three to four hours a day when it’s in reality twenty four hours in a day… So what do I do when my body isn’t on dialysis? “ “ Do I just sit around and wait for my next visit? Should I drink a lot of water? Should I eat more healthy? “ AW I see you’re highly interested in this process. Well I can tell you that just sitting around hasn’t got anyone anywhere in life. As far as drinking a lot of water, that’s kind of tricky. As a Renal Patient you’re on a fluid restriction. Your diet is the most important key factor to your treatment as well as your health to progress.” AW replies,” I’m on a Fluid Restriction? I thought that the dialysis machine would take away all my fluids , remove my toxins, clean my blood and give it back??” “ You did say that right?” No, remember as we discussed earlier, only a certain amount of blood and fluid removal will be processed during your time here. “ Okay Dwelyn, so what if I came everyday ?” Oh yeah also , explain to me this dialysis solution stuff. And where is it ?
To Be Continued……….